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Emily Grimmer

Signed family name
Signed given name
Given address
Dome Valley
Sheet number
Dome Valley
Auckland region

Biography contributed by Bernadette Siebert

Emily Grimmer was the wife of Alfred Grimmer. She was born Elizabeth Emily TOZER in 1849 in Adelaide, Australia, to former Devonshire couple, James Tozer and Elizabeth Sarah nee Heath. When Emily was four, her parents decided to immigrate to Wellington, New Zealand. But while there, an earthquake shook the chimney down, so James promptly took his family to Auckland and finally to Mahurangi.

On May 2 1871 at her parents’ home, Emily married Alfred Nathan Grimmer, eldest son of John Grimmer also of Mahurangi. To this marriage five children were born:

  • George William (1872-1940)
  • Frederick James (1874-1938)
  • Bertha Amelia (1879-1958)
  • Rebecca Amy Eunice (1884-1914)
  • Alfred Clifford (1892-1976)

They lived and farmed their land in the Dome Valley all of their lives, being involved in the local community and church. In 1880, Emily was furnishing trays for the annual soiree for the Warkworth Methodist Church. The Dome Valley annual picnic was held on the Grimmer’s farm in 1912.

Alfred Grimmer was part of a deputation that went to the Education Department in 1874 requesting that two half-day schools be set up in Dome Valley and at Kaipara Flats for the growing amount of families in the area.

The newspaper reported that Mr Alfred Grimmer of Dome Valley died at Auckland in August 1916. His body was brought back to Warkworth on the Hauiti. 'He had resided in the district nearly all his life, engaging in farming pursuits and was well esteemed.' His will left everything to his dear wife for her absolute use and benefit.

Elizabeth Emily continued to live in the district until her death in November 1926 aged 77. 'Mrs Grimmer had been a member of the Methodist Church in the Mahurangi circuit from girlhood, and at her death was the oldest member on the roll. Although taking little part in public life, by her quiet consistent Christian life, she had gained the respect of a large circle of friends. She was greatly beloved by her family who gathered from all parts during the last few days of her life'. Her will left her house, lands and farm to her youngest son Alfred Clifford. The money she had was to be divided equally between her three other children and four grandchildren. Alfred and Emily are buried together in the Warkworth Anglican Cemetery, together with their daughter Mrs Amy Rebecca Flay who pre-deceased them.

Emily is the sister-in-law of Ida GRIMMER #378 Mahurangi (husbands are brothers).


Daily Southern Cross 20 May 1871

Daily Southern Cross  3 Feb 1874

NZ Herald 5 Dec 1880

Rodney & Otamatea Times  7 Feb 1912

Rodney & Otamatea Times  9 Aug 1916

Rodney & Otamatea Times  10 Nov 1926

NZ Historical BDM

NZ Electoral Rolls (

Archway National Arch

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.